Viking is one of the best-known luxury kitchen brands. To round out that porfolio of products they have the Viking Professional 5 Series Gas Grill line. For those looking to build a high-end outdoor kitchen, Viking seems like a great choice. Let’s dig a little deeper and see if I can’t find you a better alternative. And, explain why you should consider something other than a Viking Gas Grill.
A Quick History of the Viking Range Corporation
Viking began selling appliances for the home market in 1987 after several years of design and development. Part of what made Viking stand out was its marketing. They first introduced a luxury gas range labeled as ‘professional’ but built for home use. It was professional cooking equipment for the home, or to put it another way, professional cooking equipment for the non-professional. You too could cook like a celebrity chef in your home. Of course, at a steep price.
In 2003, Viking introduced its line of gas grills. These grills were in direct competition with brands like DCS, who first developed the all stainless steel outdoor grill for the outdoor kitchen market. Viking quickly became successful in this space but has lost ground over the years. Viking produces a full line of outdoor kitchen components including cabinetry, refrigerators, and ventilation hoods.
In 2013, Viking was acquired by the Middleby Corporation, one of the largest luxury appliance companies in the world. Middleby owns several companies in the outdoor cooking market including Evo America, Lynx, Char-Griller, Kamado Joe, and Masterbuilt.
Who Makes Viking Gas Grills
I’m not going to mince words here. Viking is a big brand. Maybe not as big as it once was. They have a wide range of products, including gas grills. They do not, nor have they ever been the actual maker of those grills, however. Over the years, there have been several sources. Since 2013, it has been Lynx that has made Viking gas grills. Just look below for the comparison.
Why Buy a Viking Gas Grill?
And this brings me to the reason why you shouldn’t buy a Viking Gas Grill. It is a label. A little logo on the front of a grill made in someone else’s factory. Yes, a sibling company, but still. You pay for that Viking logo. The two models above are the 36-inch built-in versions of these grills. The Viking sells for a little more than $8000USD while the Lynx sells for well under $7000USD. See the real difference?
For reference, see my Review of the Lynx Professional Gas Grill.
Full Review – Viking Professional 5 Series 36-Inch Built-in Gas Grill
- Two 23,000 BTU cast brass burners
- One 27,000 BTU internal ceramic type infrared burner
- 640 square inches of primary grilling space for a total cooking area of 935 square inches
- 73,000 BTU maximum output from the main burners
- 14,000 BTU rear-mounted infrared rotisserie burner with full kit
- Three-position rotisserie system
- Complete seamless welded 304 stainless steel construction
- Stainless steel rod cooking grates
- Hot surface continuous ignition
- High-temperature ceramic briquette barrier
- Two internal halogen lights
- Convertible between propane and natural gas with additional equipment
- Made in the United States by the Middleby Corporation
- Even Heat
- Innovative Burners
- Full Rotisserie System
- A copy of a lower-priced grill (see full review)
- External Rotisserie Motor
- Comparatively Low Heat Output
Viking Professional 5 Series 36
There are a few hundred reasons why you shouldn’t buy this grill. I will get to those in a minute. The real standout feature of this gas grill is its brand name. You would have to be living under a rock not to know the name Viking. They make the kitchen appliances that fill celebrity kitchens and cooking shows. The truth is, Viking is the best-known name in the highest-end cooking equipment, and they know it. In fact, that was the plan all along. And I am not saying this because they make the best equipment, but because they have done the best job of marketing luxury.
With Viking ranges, refrigerators, and ovens going into the most expensive homes, they sought to continue that to the patio. As the popularity of outdoor kitchens exploded, Viking jumped into the market space. Unfortunately, Viking didn’t have the ability to make those grills themselves. Truth is, they are much more a brand than a company. What they did, was hire someone to make their gas grills. Someone signed on, did it for a while and then they stopped and the maker changed. This happened a few times.
Then came The Middleby Corporation. They bought Viking when that brand had fallen on hard times. Fortunately for Middleby, they owned another grill company, Lynx.
About this Grill
The Viking Professional 5 Series 36-Inch Built-in Gas Grill, is an expensive (over $6,000USD), full featured built-in gas grill. You get two heavy cast brass main burners, an innovative infrared burner, and a full rotisserie system. This is a well-featured grill. It has quality construction, excellent heat output, and great cooking capabilities. This really is a very good grill. So why am I not recommending it? Well, because you are paying for the name. In truth, not a lot for the name, but still, a few hundred extra.
So what should you do instead? If you really love this grill (and you should), buy the Lynx Professional 36-Inch instead. The Lynx version is virtually identical. Actually, the Lynx has better burners, but not something that really jumps out. The best part of the Lynx grill is that it is a few hundred dollars less than this one, even though both grills are made with the same parts in the same factory. It is for reasons like this that people who really know cooking equipment don’t buy Viking.
Or you can check out the Best Built-in Gas Grills for Over $6000